Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

July 28, 2009

What a strange threesome.

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At least she isn't a *blue*, scary child.

Kim Hollis: Orphan, the latest "children are scary" horror film, opened to $12.8 million. What should Warner Bros. take from this result?

Josh Spiegel: Don't make movies about crazy Eastern European orphans? Seriously, I'm not sure what Warner Bros. should take from this, aside from perhaps keeping the Dark Castle movies to the Halloween season, when this movie may have made more money. Of course, Orphan isn't a movie with any big-name stars (though it has its fair share of high-talent actors), and isn't being marketed as a horror movie along the lines of Friday the 13th or Halloween; still, this number isn't too impressive. At worst, though, the folks at the WB are still busy raking in the international dough from Harry Potter to care.

Jason Lee: Color me surprised by this opening. Not only did they have the "freaky kids" angle going for them and a big marketing effort from Warner Bros., between G-Force and The Ugly Truth, there was little in the marketplace that was going to directly appeal to the teen market (except arguably Harry Potter). Given that every other movie from Dark Castle has landed between $10-$19 million, I thought that Orphan had a chance to at least come in at the high end of that spectrum. Guess not.

Reagen Sulewski: I don't really know what you two were reasonably anticipating, though. These little horror films don't even need that big of an opening weekend to be profitable. This is about as textbook as a release gets.


Kim Hollis: I think $12 million is just fine, especially when you consider that the scary kid bit has been done to death. The only cause for concern is the fact that this movie seemed to be marketed well enough that it could have started off a bit better. It's going to make money for the WB, especially when all of the ancillary revenue is factored in.

Jason Lee: I guess that I was mostly surprised that Orphan came in significantly below The Haunting in Connecticut and The Unborn . . . considering that those two titles were pretty much straight up horror while Orphan at least went in with a pretty good premise ("There's something wrong with Esther") and the promise of a twist, I'm surprised that the difference was as great as it was. Guess people would rather see little boys barf up ectoplasm than a little girl with ribbons around her neck and wrists.

David Mumpower: For a while, I was thinking this was a remake of an engaging, original 2007 Spanish film called The Orphanage. I was disappointed to find out that it was a new property with one of the worst twist endings in the history of modern cinema. Given what I know of this project, the fact that it opened into double digits is a win. Any money whatsoever it makes is a win, although as others have pointed out, just saying "horror" seems to guarantee that kind of opening weekend as long as the title is marketed well...and isn't named something absurd like Dark Water.

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